Shelby in Copenhagen

Shelby is a junior President’s Scholar majoring in dance and psychology. In Spring 2009, she is taking classes at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in affiliation with the University of Copenhagen and also will be taking dance classes at Dansens Hus professional training school.

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My first day in Denmark

s-DSC02594-sm.jpg London-Heathrow was huge, but emptier than I anticipated. I appreciated that the signs were clearly marked. Oh, and I did set off the security alarms and had to be frisked. The joys of having a “titanium core!””

It took forever for the airline to post the gate number, so I perused the bookstore and bought a “Top Ten Tourist guidebook” to familiarize myself with the city and some of the attractions I need to visit.

Boarding the plane was difficult once again, thanks to the superior packing advice of my father and Trigg. Yes, the airline does not weigh your carry-on bag, so you can financially afford to make it ridiculously heavy. However, that makes it ever so difficult to place it in the overhead bin without any casualties!

In Copenhagen, I scooped up my huge bags and tied them together. They were easier to maneuver than I expected – through large open spaces. If only those were easier to come by in airports!

I ended up purchasing a clip card for the bus/train system, and took Platform 2 of the train to Station 3. Only I had no idea what train to take – I guessed! And I wasn’t sure what exit to take – Central Station, it turned out. (Again, my pink suitcase duo was too heavy to lift up and down the stairs to board the train, so some nice men assisted me in my struggle).

Those majestic cobblestone streets quickly became the bane of my existence – and the workout of my life! Rolling suitcases and cobblestones don’t agree – my bags kept getting stuck, or rolling and flipping over. Thank goodness my hotel was close to Central Station! (But you know you are working hard when you are sweating in a literally freezing climate!)

s-DSC02622-sm.jpg My room was modest but clean, and perfectly suited for my purposes.

s-DSC02616-sm.jpgThe shower really was the entirety of the bathroom – a drain on the floor and a curtain around a corner of the ceiling. This appears to be fairly common in Denmark.

s-DSC02612-sm.jpg After catching up on some email, I went on an expedition to find the DIS, the school at which I’m taking classes.

It turned out there was a staff party going on, so I got to meet a group of really cool interns (all former DIS students). They invited me to go to dinner with them, gave me lots of advice, and were generally wonderful. It was a ton of fun, and made me feel really welcome.

Here are some quotes from the evening:

• “The bigger the flame, the better the hygge*.”
*Hygge is a Danish concept that every Dane understands, but no one can fully express in words. Cozy, warm, comfort – those words come close, but don’t fully embody the idea.

• “Danes are like ketchup bottles. It takes a while to get them going, but once you do it all comes out.”
(discussing how they tend to be shy and reserved until you get to know them)

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